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Born in 1915 (some sources say 1922), John was the youngest of ten children. His six older brothers were all taught to play the fiddle by his father. However, as he was too small, his father had a dulcimer made by John's brother Alexander (a carpenter), using a borrowed dulcimer as a pattern, and that became John's instrument. This instrument was in turn used as the pattern for many other instruments made for other local people. In contrast to the wooden…
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